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With a wide variety of landscapes, from the sandy beaches of the Black Sea and the mesmerising channels of the Danube Delta to awe-inspiring sceneries in the Carpathians, Romania is a dream destination for those who love spending their holidays outside among impressive landscapes. But for the best views, you will have to do a bit of climbing.
The Retezat Mountains stand in the southern Carpathians and are one of Romania’s hiking pearls. A trek in the mountains is about amazing views, glacial origin lakes, steep slopes and a bucolic countryside. At an altitude of 2,482 metres (8,143 feet), Retezat Peak will bring you closer to the sky, following a four-hour trail sprinkled with spruce forests, meadows, lakes, and steep slopes. On your way, you can stop at the picturesque Stanisoara Lake to have a picnic and admire the charming landscapes. Once you arrive at the top, a strikingly beautiful 360-degree view will take your breath away.
This one-day trek will delight a seasoned pro, but it may be a great challenge for the first-time hiker. An iconic route in the Rodna Mountains, the path towards Pietrosul Peak is filled with stunning landscapes. Starting from Borsa, the incline of the road, at first, is not too steep; however, the climb suddenly goes upwards towards the glacial Iezer Lake. Surrounded by Pietrosul Peak’s imposing cliffs, the meadow of Iezer Lake is a great place to catch your breath and have a picnic. From there, it will take about a half an hour to reach your destination. At 2,303 metres (7,555 ft), awe-inspiring landscapes will unveil before your eyes, and you will feel like you have the world at your feet.
A trip to Rimetea is a perfect mix of culture and stunning landscapes. Situated in a region that used to be populated by Szeklers, Rimetea village is a small jewel in the Apuseni Mountains protected by a monumental rock, the Szekler’s Stone or what locals say is a dormant giant. Climbing the steep slopes all the way up to the peak of Szekler’s Stone at 1,129 metres (3,704 ft) will take two to three hours of sustained effort, but the panoramic views over the Rimetea Valley and the picturesque village will charm you immediately. You can head back down or spend the whole day trekking, following the crest where you will eventually reach Coltesti village on your way down.
In winter, Poiana Brasov is a paradise for winter sports lovers; however, in summer, it becomes a great place for those who want to catch some amazing views of Brasov from Postavaru Peak. This five-hour hike follows the curves of the ski slopes, forest roads and forest pathways that ascend from 1,000 metres (3,280 ft) up to 1,799 metres (5,905 ft). Once at Postavaru Peak, the whole Brasov Depression will be revealed, together with the surrounding massifs, and you will be able to catch it all in one look. Take out your camera for some incredible pictures.
According to Top Gear, the ‘World’s Best Road Trip’ is Transfagarasan or DN7C, a road that crosses Romania’s highest mountains, the Fagaras Mountains, also named the Transylvanian Alps. The Transfagarasan is 90 kilometres (56 miles) long, with sharp hairpin turns, goes up to 2,134 metres (7,000 ft) and offers bewildering landscapes. On top, Balea Lake and Balea Cascada are sculpted into glacial rocks. But if you want to hike to the ridge of the mountains, you have to follow a trail that will take you from the Balea Hut to the peak, on top of the world. The stunning views will leave you in awe, and you will fall in love with Romania immediately.
In the Bucegi Mountains, Mother Nature has carved a look-alike Egyptian Sphinx and two lovely grandmas, Babele, in stone. They are one of the main natural attractions in Romania. Above the Sphinx and Babele is Omu Peak, the highest one in the Bucegi Mountains, where even more spectacular landscapes wait for you. You can reach the top of it from Busteni, following a path that will take you up to 2,514 metres (8,248 ft) in approximately five hours. Following narrow valleys, beautiful meadows, steep slopes and a winding canyon, you will see plenty of views, but the one at the top is truly breathtaking.
This easy-to-follow hike in the Apuseni Mountains will take you up to Marisel village’s plateau, where fairytale landscapes and centuries-old stories are part of the daily life of locals. Iancu, or Avram Iancu, originally from the Apuseni Mountains, is considered one of the national heroes of the 1848 revolution. You’ll find his cross at 1,200 metres (3,937 ft), and the pathways lead you through beautiful forests and lovely meadows, rewarding your effort with scenic panoramas of the Apuseni Mountains. For three hours, you won’t be able to take your eyes from the charming surroundings.